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tv   BBC News  BBC News  July 31, 2021 9:00pm-9:31pm BST

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this is bbc news — with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. i'm geeta guru—murthy. fierce fighting in afghanistan — three afghan cities are battling the taliban. the taliban already control vast swathes of rural territory in afghanistan, now they are really pushing in on a number of cities, and advancing right to the heart of lashkar gah, capital of helmand province. more than a dozen aid trucks have reached the capital of ethiopia's war—torn tigray region. and several wildfires sweep through turkey — affecting tourist areas on its aegean and mediterranean coasts. borisjohnson and his wife, carrie, have announced they are expecting a second child.
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their first child, wilfred, was born in april last year. and, it's blast off for britian�*s telecommunications industry — their latest multi—tonne satellite heads into orbit. hello, and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. there is heavy fighting in the southern afghan city of lashkar gah, the capital of helmand province. security forces in two other key cities, kandahar in the south and herat in the west, are also battling to try to halt the taliban offensive. thousands of people have been fleeing their homes to other parts of afghanistan and neighbouring countries. our correspondent, secunder kermani, is in kabul with the latest.
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this is the most serious moment, i would say, in the weeks of intensified fighting that we've been seeing in afghanistan. the taliban already control vast swathes of rural territory, they've captured that in the last couple of months, but now they're trying to take their first city. earlier this evening they advanced right into the heart of lashkar gah city — that's the capital of helmand province. afg ha n afghan army soldiers are still there, they are trying to hold the taliban back. we have been told that fresh trips have been sent into the city, including specialforces. speaking to one on the call source, may believe the afghan air force are reluctant to carry out air strikes because the fighting is in a such congested parts of the city. meanwhile, ordinary afghans caught in the middle of this. one italian ngo releasing its beds are filled.
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we have seen lots of fighting in and around lashkar gah city, displacing people around the centre of the city. now those people will be cut up city. now those people will be cut up again and this latest push by the afghanistan. of course, that is fighting going on elsewhere in the country. a third day of fighting taking place in the herat between the taliban and government forces backed up by a pro—government militia. last night, american air strikes. that has also been fighting in kandahar, so a really critical time for the country and its many ordinary people caught up in the middle of this awful violence. kemal kirisci is a senior fellow at the brookings institution think tank and has written about the mass exodus that's happening as the taliban's control expands. he told me more about the displacement of people there. we must not forget that afghans, after syrians and venezuelans, constitute the largest group of refugees in the world, not to mention internal
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displacement as well. do you foresee that number, basically, rising? perhaps more refugees and migrants coming into europe as well? yes, i do. actually, when the biden administration, back in april, announced that they were going to pull out the us military troops, followed by the nato ones, for me it was very obvious that this is what was going to happen. as your reporting suggests, taliban's control is expanding in the country, there is a lot of violence and instability that is going to follow. afghans, traditionally, during the time of the soviet occupation had fled mostly to pakistan, and to some extent iran, the two countries who in the world hosts the largest
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number of refugees. but this time it is clear that the movement will be westward. iran for the last couple of years has been encouraging very much the afghans who sought refuge in iran to move on to turkey, and this is why there are more than half a million afghans right now in turkey. i suspect that in no time, especially if the capital in afghanistan falls into taliban hands, the numbers will increase and some of them will make their way to the greek—turkish border. obviously people are worried about what happens to those civilians and the impact on neighbouring countries. but also at the very real threat of security and more militant violence? , , ~ ., ,
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violence? yes, but i think that is the humanitarian _ violence? yes, but i think that is the humanitarian face _ violence? yes, but i think that is the humanitarian face to - violence? yes, but i think that is the humanitarian face to this. i violence? yes, but i think that is| the humanitarian face to this. us and nato presence had brought a modicum of stability and gains in the civil liberties, education, and a little bit in the economy in afghanistan. that is collapsing, and i think the focus ought to be more on how to reach out to these civilians, innocent civilians who are fleeing this virus. also at the countries who are going to host these large number of refugees at a time aren't afraid of public attitudes towards refugees is fast deteriorating in turkey, but also in european countries. the united nations's food agency says more than a dozen trucks carrying emergency aid to tigray, in northern ethiopia, have reached the regional
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capital, mekelle. they were part of a convoy of 170 vehicles, stuck for weeks in the neighbouring afar region because of security problems. some of the other trucks are also making their way to tigray. about five million people in the region rely on emergency assistance, with 400,000 living in famine conditions. vanessa tsehaye is human rights activists and a horn of africa campaigner at amnesty international. how bad is the situation on the ground at the moment? the situation is absolutely — ground at the moment? the situation is absolutely catastrophic. _ ground at the moment? the situation is absolutely catastrophic. it - ground at the moment? the situation is absolutely catastrophic. it has - is absolutely catastrophic. it has been like this since the conflict started, but as it enters its ninth month it is just becoming worse and worse. month it is 'ust becoming worse and worse. , . ., month it is 'ust becoming worse and worse. , ,., , month it is 'ust becoming worse and worse. , ,., _, worse. this convoy is only a fraction _ worse. this convoy is only a fraction of _ worse. this convoy is only a fraction of what _ worse. this convoy is only a fraction of what is _ worse. this convoy is only a fraction of what is needed? | worse. this convoy is only a - fraction of what is needed? this is the first convoy _ fraction of what is needed? this is the first convoy to _ fraction of what is needed? this is the first convoy to reach _ fraction of what is needed? this is the first convoy to reach the - fraction of what is needed? this is| the first convoy to reach the region and over two weeks. it has hundreds of trucks, but right now and need hundreds of trucks a day to meet the
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need on the ground, which is not happening. need on the ground, which is not happening-— happening. why exactly is it so tou . h for happening. why exactly is it so tough for them _ happening. why exactly is it so tough for them to _ happening. why exactly is it so tough for them to get - happening. why exactly is it so| tough for them to get through? happening. why exactly is it so - tough for them to get through? we have tough for them to get through? - have access to the region, but there is problems with bureaucracy and security. then there are attacks on staff, attacks on bridges making it difficult to reach certain areas, and fighting that makes it hard to reach certain areas and refugee camps. reach certain areas and refugee cams. ~ ., , ., , .,, reach certain areas and refugee cams. ., , . camps. who is that is worst affected here? at this _ camps. who is that is worst affected here? at this point, _ camps. who is that is worst affected here? at this point, it _ camps. who is that is worst affected here? at this point, it is _ camps. who is that is worst affected here? at this point, it is everyone. i here? at this point, it is everyone. 9096 of “ways — here? at this point, it is everyone. 9096 of tigray's population - here? at this point, it is everyone. 9096 of tigray's population is - here? at this point, it is everyone. 9096 of tigray's population is in - 90% of tigray's population is in need of food emergency assistance. over 100,000 children are estimated to die of starvation if the situation does not change. the refugees living in the area, who have already had two to flee destroyed refugee camps, have not been able to receive any assistance over the past weeks and months. at
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this point, it is everybody living anything like who is in desperate need of aid. anything like who is in desperate need of aid-— need of aid. who in the international _ need of aid. who in the | international community need of aid. who in the - international community has the power and ability to change this quickly? power and ability to change this cuickl ? , ., , . quickly? there needs to be much ressure quickly? there needs to be much pressure to _ quickly? there needs to be much pressure to allow _ quickly? there needs to be much pressure to allow full _ quickly? there needs to be much pressure to allow full access - quickly? there needs to be much pressure to allow full access to i quickly? there needs to be much i pressure to allow full access to the region. there is a blog by the federal government this week, we have more and more restrictions from the federal government, and now there are different factors creating this disaster. —— there is a block. pressure needs to be put on, both from a security perspective, but also bureaucracy to make sure access is allowed. everybody needs to put pressure on all actors of the conflict right now.— pressure on all actors of the conflict right now. when we say 400,000 people _ conflict right now. when we say 400,000 people living - conflict right now. when we say 400,000 people living and - conflict right now. when we say - 400,000 people living and farming conditions, what does that mean on a day—to—day business for all these families? —— famine conditions. it means from if it perspective hundreds of thousands of people starving. we have a health system collapsed. we have pregnant women,
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young children, stories are not coming out, there is a communications blackout as well. there are also communication restrictions which are making it even more difficult for humanitarian workers to do the job, but also difficult for us to hear the full picture of what's happening on the ground. what the year and is just a tiny bit of the massive picture of what is happening unfortunately. —— what is happening unfortunately. —— what we are hearing. american military forces have boarded an israeli—operated oil tanker after two crew members — a british national and a romanian citizen — were killed in a reported drone strike. the us navy has said experts boarded the tanker to "ensure there is no additional danger to the crew, and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack." israel has accused iran of being behind the attack, which occured off oman's coast in the arabian sea on thursday. iran has not yet responded to the allegations, but it appears to be a serious escalation in tensions in the region. our correspondent,
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tom bateman, is injerusalem. he explained more from there. the foreign minister, yair lapid, who has quite firmly put this at the feet of the iranians and said that he had spoken to the uk foreign secretary, dominic raab, about this because one of the two people killed on board was a british security guard on the ship. the other was a senior member of the crew, a romanian national. now, mr lapid said that he expected the need for what he described as a "severe response" following that attack. that was in a phone call to that uk official, to mr raab on friday night, and in terms of the details we have now about this attack, as you say, us navy fifth fleet explosive experts have been on board and the maritime security industry is saying that they understand this to be a drone attack by a so—called attack drone. now, these are explosive—laden drones that are flown by remote
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control into objects, and it's believed this was flown directly into the bridge of this ship and that's when the fatalities occurred. so, there is an investigation going on. the ship is continuing north past muscat at the moment under its own power, officials say, but it is under us naval escort, but what this does is to really ramp up tensions into what is often seen as a shadow war between the iranians and the israelis across parts of the middle east. but this, in terms of what happens at sea, as far as those confrontations are concerned, marks a serious escalation. tom bateman in jerusalem. the british prime minister's wife, carriejohnson, has announced she is pregnant. this will be the couple's second child together. announcing the news on instagram, carriejohnson also revealed that she had a miscarriage at the start of the year. she said, "i feel incredibly blessed to be pregnant again but i've also felt like a bag of nerves."
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here's our political correspondent, nick eardley. carriejohnson has posted on instagram that she is expecting around christmas. remember, she and borisjohnson were married in may in that fairly small and secret ceremony at westminster cathedral. now they are expecting their second child in downing street around christmas time. it's pretty rare for prime ministers to have children while they are in office, i think there has only been four in the last 150 years or so. so it is quite a rare thing. but in this post that carriejohnson has put up on her instagram page, she has also revealed that she had a miscarriage at the start of this year. ijust want to read you a particular point of it which she has put up, saying, "i feel incredibly blessed to be pregnant again, but i have also felt like a bag of nerves. fertility issues can be really
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hard for many people, particularly when on platforms like instagram it can look like everything is only ever going well." she goes on to say, "i found it a real comfort to hearfrom people who have also experienced loss, so that i hope in some very small way sharing this might help others too." so, happy news for the prime minister and his wife, but also some sadness in that post as well. mrsjohnson saying that she hopes by sharing her own experience, she might be able to help others. the headlines on bbc news: heavy fighting is taking place in the centre of the strategically important southern afghan city of lashkar gah. a convoy of more than a dozen aid trucks has managed to reach mekelle, the capital of tigray, in northern ethiopia. and, borisjohnson and his wife, carrie, have announced they're expecting a second child. their son, wilfred, was born in april last year.
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sport — and for a full round—up, from the bbc sport centre, chetan pathak is here. it's been another day to remember in tokyo, especially for defending champion, who led home ajamaican clean sweep in the olympic women's 100 metres final. more from tokyo. the women's100 metres event was billed as the blockbuster event of tokyo. even before, there was a light show with the lights dimmed all around the stadium and their names edged onto that 100 metre stretch. it was a jamaican one, two and three. elaine thompson—herah
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setting a new olympic record, just the second fastest ever time won by eight women in. she's is stretched clear in the last ten, 20 metres. the jamaican was bidding to become the first ever athlete to win three titles in track and field. she had to settle for the silver medal. her compatriot took the bronze medal in a personal best. so a great night forjamaica on the track there. spare a thought for the ivory coast athlete, she finished fourth, and she also finished fourth at the rio games back in 2016. a couple of other medals handed out at the olympic stadium. in the discus,
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speeding winning gold. there was a first ever mixed relay, poland emerged victorious in that. but the 100 metres, that was all about jamaica, and in particular elaine thompson—herah, who left with the gold medal. history also made for katie lea becky, who has becomejust the fourth swimmer to win at the same title three times. it is a 70 olympic gold in total for katie liu tekky, a new record for an american women in any sport. red bull have accused lewis hamilton of gamesmanship, alleging he drove so slowly that the mexican was too late to start his final lap.
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i'v e i've never booed any team before in any other sport because it is just not my character. of course i want one team to win more than another, something like that. but we have grown up around it, we know what it is. we do have to be so careful with our words, is. we do have to be so careful with ourwords, particularly is. we do have to be so careful with our words, particularly as there are young kids watching.— young kids watching. hamilton similarly not — young kids watching. hamilton similarly not size _ young kids watching. hamilton similarly not size by _ young kids watching. hamilton similarly not size by being - young kids watching. hamilton l similarly not size by being booed young kids watching. hamilton - similarly not size by being booed by max verstappen fans today. south africa beating the british and irish lions by 27—9 and at the second test match in cape town. second—half tries secured the victory, leaving the series increasingly poised at 1-1 the series increasingly poised at 1—1 going into the deciding test next saturday. pakistan had beating the west indies by seven runs in their second t20 international in guyana. west indies made 157—8 from
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their 20 overs. guyana. west indies made 157—8 from their20 overs. ? nicholas guyana. west indies made 157—8 from their 20 overs. ? nicholas pooran, top scoring with 62. pakistan lead the four match series one nil. that is all the spot for now. president erdogan has visited southern turkey to inspect efforts to fight dozens of wildfires that have now killed six people. he pledged financial support for the affected areas, and said most of the fires, which broke out on wednesday, were now under control. at least four people have died and dozens have been taken to hospital. the bbc�*s esra yalcinalp has more.
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didn't hasjust didn't has just declared disaster areas, meaning £4.2 of funding will be available for recovery efforts. on top of that, there will be interest free loan opportunities, and they will start to rebuild their houses in one month and the promise to finish them in about one year. it has been a tremendous effort from the firefighters, on the land and also in the air. this has been the largest scale of fires at the same time that the country has seen. there are just too many fires going on at the same time. according to the ministry, it is 100 fires in 24 cities in the last four days. there are even more fires occurring as we speak. the weather is dry, the wind is strong, the heat is high. the
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weather conditions are not really helping. the area is mountainous, full of pine cones. when the pine cones catch on flying, the explode and create small fires. russia, azerbaijan and ukraine have sent their planes to help with the efforts. volunteers are coming from different cities, trying to put out with the water they have brought with them the small fires they see on the ground, so there is a collective effort. everybody is trying to do their best, but itjust has not been enough. haulage industry leaders in the uk say they're struggling to find enough heavy goods vehicle drivers to keep the economy moving. they describe a shortfall of more than 100 thousand hauliers,
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than 100,000 hauliers, causing acute problems in supply chains. the difficulties — fueled by a combination of factors — have led one english company to take desperate action. the bbc�*s amy payne reports. trucks like these keep the country moving but right now, many are parked up and going nowhere. haulage firms, like this leicestershire logistics company, just can't find enough drivers. it's worrying. i mean, the vehicles arejust sitting there because we haven't got the drivers. and there's simply a large number of drivers that went back to europe during brexit, we've had covid which has caused us severe problems with the lack of training that's available, and that's just a few of the things, really. well, we're seeing an impact right across the board, from manufacturing, factories, farming and of course supermarkets which is probably the one thing that most people notice the most. and so translink is taking action. kev is the latest employee here to benefit from free training courses to help tackle the chronic shortage of hgv drivers.
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i've grown up in the transport industry all my life and obviously companies helping individuals, cos obviously it's a costly thing to get into but it's a good thing to help the country out, really. but many in the industry want government help and a gear change in how thejob is perceived. if you look at the long—term solutions, about attracting, training and retaining, we have programmes in place that we can put in place, with the industry and with the government's support. that doesn't help today. what i really want to see some sort of temporary visa scheme in place like for seasonal picking in food production. but the government isn't keen, insisting the future workforce should be made up of uk residents. for now, drivers are allowed to spend slightly longer on the road and there are plans to increase testing, but as drivers take time off in summer holiday season, there's concern the situation will get worse before it gets better. amy payne, bbc midlands today, leicestershire. the uk telecommunications industry hopes a satellite that has gone into orbit will help maintain its global
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leadership in the sector. a quarter of the world's big telecoms spacecraft are manufactured in britain, and the new quantum platform is billed as the market's next—generation product. quantum was launched on an ariane rocket, from french guiana, last night. here's our science correspondent, jonathan amos. another rocket climbs skyward to bolster a sector that europe, and the uk in particular, has come to dominate — the business of telecommunications satellites. there are hundreds of these spacecraft overhead, bouncing tv, phone calls, broadband and other data services around the planet. but the new satellite going into orbit, called quantum, represents a big step forward in technology. while traditional telecom spacecraft are configured before launch to do very specific tasks, quantum has been built forflexibility. it is the sector's first fully reprogrammable spacecraft. it's able to rapidly change the coverage, bandwidth, power and frequency of its signals.
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one of its uses will be for disaster response, providing emergency communications to the teams that are sent in to help people in places hit by catastrophic floods or earthquakes. quantum's manufacturers in the uk — that's airbus and surrey satellite technology ltd — will incorporate the prototype's technology into their future spacecraft, hoping to maintain their world—leading status in what has become a highly competitive field. jonathan amos, bbc news. something rather out of this world is taking place in shanghai, where a futuristic new planetarium has opened. the facility, which is the size of around five football fields, showcases the nation's extra—terrestrial exploits. in recent months, beijing has landed a spacecraft on mars and sent the first astronauts to a chinese space station. it also features working telescopes
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and a range of interactive exhibits. this is bbc news. now it's time for a look at the weather with louise lear. hello there. lighter winds today but there has been quite a lot of cloud around and some nuisance showers as well. some of those showers have been heavy and thundery. take a look at this pretty threatening—looking weather watcher picture from kent that was sent in earlier on. now, if we take a look at the satellite picture, you can see the amount of cloud around. the brighter white, that's storm evert that's now in scandinavia. so we have seen some cloud sitting across the country, the best of any breaks has been through eastern areas. but you can see that real cluster of sharp showers that's developed through the course of the afternoon, stretching across south wales, central and southern england, with one or two rumbles of thunder mixed in there as well. also been a few nuisance showers to the east of the pennines, too.
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now, over the next few hours, those showers should start to ease down just a touch. and as they continue to clear away through the night, we will see the cloud breaking up in places. so it'll be a quiet night to come. it'll be a slightly cooler one in scotland, particularly in sheltered rural areas, with a few scattered showers in the far north. here, overnight lows generally of 9—14 degrees. so, we're going to start off tomorrow morning on a quiet note once again. this nuisance weather front still to clear away and it is going to produce the threat of more sharp, thundery downpours across southern fringes of england as we go through the afternoon. so, sunday will start off relatively quietly, with a few isolated showers across scotland and northern ireland but generally in the way more drier weather. a line of showers will push their way steadily southwards into the afternoon. and, again, they'll be hit and miss, but we can't rule out the odd rumble of thunder mixed in there as well. top temperatures of 21 degrees, but noticeably cooler further north. 12-17.
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a week ago, we had temperatures into the high 20s. it does look likely that it'll be a relatively quiet start for our new working week but, unfortunately, the story becomes a little more complicated. if we take a look at the detail as to why that's going to happen, we see this brief ridge of high pressure building in from monday into tuesday. but then, from wednesday onwards, this weather front is going to start to bring the threat of more outbreaks of rain and those areas of low pressure will continue to move in towards the end of the week. so, drier to start, yes, but a little bit cooler than it has been. more wind and rain later on in the week. take care.
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hello this is bbc news, with geeta guru—murthy. the headlines:
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it's known as "super saturday" and there was a great start for team gb in the tokyo olympics, with a gold and a world record — in the 4—by—100 metres mixed medley final. team work makes dream work. another gold, in the triathlon mixed relay event — and, finally, a first gold medal forjonny brownlee at his third olympic games. victory for elaine thompson—herah ofjamaica in the women's 100—metres final in tokyo. but before that there was heartbreakfor team gb sprinter, dina asher—smith, who had to withdraw from the games through injury. afghan security forces have been battling to defend three key cities from advances by the taliban. medical experts are warning that an oxygen monitoring device, called a pulse oximeter, works less well for people with darker skin tones. and borisjohnson and his wife carrie have announced they're expecting a second child. their son wilfred was born
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in april last year.

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